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Synopsis

Most annual reports miss one important thing – a holistic view of the company, Harvard Business Review states. To present this holistic view to your stakeholders, you need to look at and analyze all aspects of your company and package the analysis in a concise, neat document. This is where our Annual Report (Part 2) can help. These presentations allow you to organize and deliver a wealth of information about your business with ease and in style. For more options, check out our Mid-Year Business Review Report and Quarterly Report (Part 2) decks.

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Slide highlights

Use this slide to walk your stakeholders through the agenda of your annual report. This will help them to get a better understanding of what the report has to offer and reassure them that it's worth their undivided attention.

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Financial overview is probably the most crucial part of your annual report, as it allows current and prospective investors and shareholders to see the company's financial performance last year, and its potential for growth in the future.

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Application

Naked facts are credible, but not very engaging. That is why it's crucial to tell a compelling story in your annual report. Marketing firm, Column Five, explains how:

  1. Streamline your story – compiling numbers and adding a message from the CEO simply isn't enough in today's business environment. "There is a lot of valuable content to be shared in an annual report, but if it isn't presented appropriately, much of it goes to waste. As a cornerstone piece of content, your annual report should effectively communicate your brand story," the experts say. To achieve this, construct a compelling narrative in the form of a particular theme, an initiative or an extension of your mission.
  2. Demonstrate impact – highlight your accomplishments, prove your trustworthiness and showcase your success. To help investors, clients, staff and future employees emotionally engage with your brand, emphasize the impact of your accomplishments. As you frame these successes, the experts say, add data, testimonials, reviews, quotes, individual success stories and other information that proves the impact of your initiatives.
  3. Humanize your work – brand transparency is another important aspect of business in the current climate. Strong brand relationships are built through human connection, so lifting up the curtain is key. In addition to human stories, consider including "behind the scenes" photos.
  4. Visualize Your Numbers – data visualization is both an aesthetically pleasing and an effective communication tool. "Our brains are pre-wired for visual communication, so visualizing data makes the information presented easier to comprehend and recall. Data is particularly useful to enhance your messaging; it also creates visual variety," the experts say.
  5. Use visual language – illustrations, photos, color themes and fonts convert your visual language into an extension of your brand identity. "As you move forward with design, you may want to choose an overarching visual theme or metaphor that relates to your story. It may also be influenced by the format you choose," the experts say.
  6. Introduce interactivity – annual reports take many forms today: print, digital interactive, even video. Choose the format that would fit your story best. And regardless of the format you choose, find opportunities to engage readers. You might consider an interactive infographic that lets them jump in and play around with the content.
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Case study

Mailchimp's 2019 annual report

MailChimp – marketing automation platform and email marketing service, does a great job creating compelling, creative reports that become extensions of the brand. Thus, for example, scrolling through Mailchimp's Year in Review – 2019 report, the viewers experience an immersive recap of the company's major milestones and achievements.

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All data is broken down into pieces presented as vintage pop-culture inspired posters. It is also clear that the team behind the report put a lot of thought into design and took in consideration all design trends of the year, which shows exceptional attention to detail. Also note that Mailchimp demonstrates incredible dedication to its customers by including them in the process. At the end of the report page, the company published the following message: "Shoutout to Mailchimp customer James Edmondson, who owns and runs OH no Type Co. in Oakland, CA. We used a lot of his fonts for this project."

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